Troopers discuss motorcycle safety after fatal accident

TRI-CITIES, Wash. – After a fatal motorcycle accident Sunday Night, Washington State Patrol troopers are urging drivers and motorcyclists to be aware they’re both sharing the road.

“We are starting to see a lot more motorcycles on the highways with the sun out and the snow gone,” said Washington State Patrol’s Trooper Chris Thorson.

As temperatures warm up, Troopers warn drivers about a devastating trend.

“We seemed to have a problem last year with motorcycle fatalities,” said Trooper Thorson, adding “We had two alone on Van Geisen.”

Action News dug through the latest Washington Traffic Safety Commission data. Statistics show there were six serious injury crashes involving motorcycles in Benton County in 2016, five of which were fatal.

In Franklin County, there were five serious injury crashes, and on Sunday night another motorcyclist lost his life on the interstate in Pasco.

“Anytime that someone loses a life on the highway and we have to go contact the family it's always devastating for everybody,” said Trooper Thorson.

To turn this trend around, Troopers ask that all drivers to keep an eye out for each other.

“Use your turn signal, this is important when motorcycles are coming up behind you,” said Trooper Thorson, adding “You may not see them because they are a lot smaller, so activate your turn signal, do a head check and then change lane.”

Traffic laws don't change with two and four wheels and neither do following distances.

“Just because you are on your motorcycle that doesn’t mean you can be driving 20, 30 miles over the speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic,” said Thorson.

Additionally, Troopers say motorcyclists should use extra caution when going around turns and off ramps.

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